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12 players to follow during Eurobasket 2013

September 3rd, 2013 · No Comments

The Eurobasket 2013 starts tomorrow in Slovenia and we took a quick look at some prospects that will most likely use this stage to make a name for themselves on the International scene for the first time.

Dario Saric – 2m08 – PF – 1994 – Croatia

The Croatian forward will experience his first Eurobasket on the Senior level this year in Croatia after being a factor already in the Qualification phase for his home country. This was though against smaller teams so that it is interesting to see how Saric adapts against the best competition in Europe. Croatia does not look like a medal candidate right now but this might be the ideal situation for Saric to shine on his debut at this stage. At the age of 19, he still has a good future ahead and will take the experience with him for the next years.

Devon van Oostrum – 1m90 – PG – 1993 – Great Britain

The British PG is another Rookie on this level but he looks to be the most talented player on the roster from the island. Van Oostrum comes out of a very spectacular summer where he led the British U20 National Team to Division A and wants to make the next step now and break out on the Senior level. With his athletic slashing playing style, he has all the assets do to so and he should have a lot of responsibilities in the British back court in Slovenia. However, this Eurobasket might come a bit too early for van Oostrum to lead his team to the next level.

Alessandro Gentile – 2m00 – SG/SF – 1992 – Italy

The strong Italian scorer and new team captain of Milano will be at his first Eurobasket as well and he will certainly want to show everybody that he is one of the most promising back court players in Europe. However, there are a multitude of prolific scorers in the Italian squad so that Gentile is certainly not the first option for his team. Nevertheless, he can have a big impact also on short stretches so he is certainly a player to follow on the Italian roster.

Janis Berzins – 2m01 – SF – 1993 – Latvia

With a series of outstanding performances in Tallinn earlier this summer at the U20 European Championship Men, the product of Valmiera and later VEF basketball school, did enough to play himself into a position on the national team. Not named on Coach Bagatskis’s initial roster, Berzins made the national team coach reconsider after making the All Tournament Team in Estonia, ending with 15.4 points, and 7.4 rebounds-a-night. However, it would be kind of surprising if Berzins will be a major factor for Latvia during the Eurobasket.

Niels Giffey – 2m00 – SF – 1991 – Germany

Niels Giffey was some kind of a surprise for Germany during the preparation after his low stats with UConn over the last years. However, the Berlin native showed that he is now capable of being that versatile guy that he was already when he dominated the youth categories in Germany for ALBA Berlin. With an improving shot and a no-nonsense approach, Giffey could be a real factor for Germany if they want to qualify for the next round. He is certainly one of their main options for the future on the wing.

Nikola Ivanovic – 1m90 – PG – 1994 – Montenegro

Ivanovic will be a factor for Montenegro behind their naturalized American PG Tyrese Rice. The 1994 born and second youngest participant to the competition, Ivanovic shocked Serbia during the qualification phase with his already famous buzzer beater. Now the 1m90 tall player has to show that he has grown and can be a reliable ball handler and distributor against the best nations in Europe. With a quite talented group and good coaching staff, Montenegro can be one of the underdogs of the event and Ivanovic is an important piece of that puzzle.

Przemek Karnowski – 2m15 – C – 1993 – Poland

The Gonzaga big guy will most likely not see many minutes in Slovenia but it will be another interesting learning experience for the 2m15 tall center. Stuck behind Gortat and Lampe in the rotation, Karnowski needs to be ready to contribute during short stretches especially on defense. He has never played on this level so he might need some time to adapt. However, he will become a corner piece for his country in the future and the experience gained in Slovenia will certainly help him.

Mateusz Ponitka – 1m96 – SF – 1993 – Poland

The leader of the Polish Golden Generation of 93 born will have some impact already this year at the Eurobasket. He has been given a starting role but he is not the go-to-guy on the wing. But he is an important player for coach Dirk Bauermann with his shooting abilities to spread the court and play hard on defense. He needs to be a reliable scorer, especially on the drive if Poland wants to advance to the next round.

Sergey Karasev – 2m03 – SF – 1993 – Russia

Freshly drafted into the NBA, Karasev is more or less considered as the future of Russian Basketball. In July, he was the key to Russia’s successful campaign at the Universiade in Kazan and will now complete an eventful summer at Eurobasket. Despite being very young Karasev’s got big experience in playing international basketball having won two medals at youth European/World Championships. Now, in the absence of the brightest names of his country, Karasev wants to take over the leading role and create a surprise in his first real Senior event.

Ludvig Hakanson – 1m90 – PG – 1996 – Sweden

Hakanson is the youngest player at the Eurobasket as he is only 17 years old. Build like a (young) man already, Hakanson showed during the preparation that he can be a serious factor for the Swedish team that is mainly using their NBA athletes as offensive go-to-guys. Hakanson is a good threat from outside and will certainly gain even more experience by participating to the event and it would not be a surprise to me if he takes over the starting PG job during the event.

Viktor Gaddefors – 2m03 – SF – 1992 – Sweden

Gaddefors is slowly imposing himself on the European scene and he should be able to contribute as a back-up on this level already this year. Blocked by Jerebko and Taylor on his positions, Gaddefors needs to be ready to come from the bench, keep the energy level up and add some scoring during his short minutes on the court. He is one of the players Sweden has to build its future and who can help them to be a regular participant in Eurobaskets and finally get another victory.

Ondrej Balvin – 2m16 – C – 1992 – Czech Republic

The big Czech showed during the Adidas Eurocamp in spring that he has really made some steps forward. But his impact on the Czech team during the preparation was not that huge despite a team that struggled in the preparation.

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